Despite "They Come At Night" being Nocturnal Torment's first full-length album, these guys aren't necessarily new to the metal scene. They were originally known as Termination, who only released a single demo before splitting up, but now they've returned and they have done so with a furor of epic proportions on this record. This isn't the thrashy material these guys were playing 20 years ago, but some wicked death metal that brings with it an extreme amount of chaos and destruction. The most accurate descriptions that I've seen/read about Nocturnal Torment would be the comparisons to Floridian death metal giants Deicide and Malevolent Creation, but that's not doing this band justice. While there are definitely similar aspects to the music, these guys are much more than some new death metal act trying to play exactly like two of the most well-known bands of the genre.
Along with the aforementioned comparisons, Nocturnal Torment is definitely a bit more savage than those bands. It would be like Deicide and Malevolent Creation had a violent and bloody orgy involving members of Nunslaughter, [Early] Morbid Angel and Sinister. The opening track "Vile Affliction" is pretty standard American death metal, but the next track "Alternative Reality" is where the band's true talents lie. These guys manage to successfully mix some bludgeoning, heavy riffs with the traditional death metal tremolo passages for some quality enjoyment, but that inner savage makes itself clear later on and the band seems to go off of their figurative tracks, so to speak. The tremolo sections later on are highly chaotic and almost reminiscent of some crazy Blasphemy or Conqueror type war metal act, but the music is still very concise and never comes off as spastic.
Probably the best quality about "They Come At Night" is the songwriting. Nocturnal Torment isn't content with writing songs that range between 3 and 4 minutes, instead delivering some mighty fine tracks that clock in at over five to six minutes. A lot of bands (these days, especially) try to come off as mature or musically adept by writing longer material but they simply don't have the ability to keep the listener interested for that amount of time, but these gentlemen provide enough dynamics on every track to keep the listener interested. Whether it's haunting tremolo passages ("Bleeding"), incredibly heavy and catchy riffs ("Sweet Decay") or just an all around brilliant piece of music with everything you could ask for ("Alternative Reality"), Nocturnal Torment gets the job done, and they do very well.
There isn't anything negative that I can bring myself to say about this record or the band. "They Come At Night" is great from beginning to end and chances are this album will be one that sees steady rotation throughout the year, as well as make plenty of year-end lists. Incantation clones, Dismember worshipers, and Autopsy knockoffs had better beware, because Nocturnal Torment is exactly the kind of band that could put you all on the back shelf.
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"Cycle of Life"
"Cycle of Life"
4.5/5 or 90%.